FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas' Jaime Pisani, the nation's top-ranked gymnast in the all-around and on floor, competes in Barnhill Arena for the final time during Saturday's NCAA Fayetteville Regional, but she's not the only highly-rated gymnast in the competition.
Pisani, the Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Year, performs in Fayetteville for the final time in the 4 p.m. meet. She enters the post-season leading the nation in the all-around for the fourth straight week and on floor for the third after previously leading on floor for a five-week stretch. Combined, she's spent a total of 12 weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation this season. In addition, Pisani is tied for No. 7 on beam, tied for No. 9 on bars and tied for No. 15 on vault.
Sophomore All-American Katherine Grable is expected back in Arkansas' lineup after missing the last three weeks with an ankle injury. She's ranked fourth in the country in the all-around, 10th on vault and tied for No. 17 on beam. Senior Mariah Howdeshell, who earlier this year was ranked No. 1 on bars for two weeks, is tied for No. 5 on that event.
The regional features No. 3 UCLA, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 10 Boise State, No. 19 Missouri, No. 29 New Hampshire and No. 34 Maryland. The top two teams advance to the NCAA Championship in Duluth, Ga., April 20-22. Arkansas is making its ninth straight appearance in a regional and looking for its fifth consecutive trip and sixth overall to the NCAA Championship.
The regional field features several other high-ranking gymnasts.
UCLA's roster includes the No. 1 vaulter in the country in Vanessa Zamarripa. The Bruins also feature Tauny Frattone and Olivia Courtney on vault, who are both tied for seventh in the country.
Other leading vaulters are Brittany Potvin-Green of Boise State and Rachel Updike of Missouri, both tied for No. 21.
On floor, Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs of UCLA is No. 4 while teammate Courtney is tied for No. 22, and Missouri's Updike is tied for 13th.
On bars, Aisha Gerber of UCLA is tied for No. 13 and Zamarripa is tied for No. 24. On beam, Samantha Peszek of UCLA is tied for No. 9 and Hopfner-Hibbs is tied for No. 14.
Missouri's Mary Burke is tied for No. 15 in the all-around.
In the team event rankings, UCLA leads the nation on vault, followed by Arkansas in a tie for No. 6, Boise State at No. 10, Missouri tied for No. 17, Maryland No. 27 and New Hampshire No. 35.
UCLA is No. 5 on bars, followed by Arkansas in a tie for No. 7, BSU No. 11, Missouri tied for No. 21, Maryland tied for No. 31 and UNH No. 39.
On beam, UCLA is No. 3, Arkansas is No. 15, BSU No. 16, Missouri No. 19, UNH tied for No. 27 and Maryland No. 39. On floor, UCLA is No. 2, Arkansas No. 9, Missouri No. 14, Maryland No. 23, BSU tied for No. 24 and UNH No. 31.
Tickets for the regional are $10 for adults. The first 500 UA students will be admitted free with a valid university ID. For others, a $5 ticket is available for youth/students, everyone 18 and younger or with a valid UA student ID. A family plan is also available, including two adult and two youth tickets for $25.
Tickets can be purchased at the UA Ticket Center on Razorback Road, by calling 479-575-5151 or 800-982-4647, or online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.